For the eleventh time in 11 weeks, the Dodge City High School debate team brought home a trophy concluding its regular season schedule.

The team took third place in the Independent Collegiate School Invitational Tournament held Saturday in Wichita.

The third place finish came from a small group that never competed together this season.

"With only three teams competing there’s really no wiggle room," said DCHS debate coach, Steve Ray. "Everybody has to bring their A game because every round counts toward the sweepstakes rankings.

"To make matters worse, we had some last minute cancellations that forced us to pair people who had not debated together before.

"I couldn’t be more surprised or proud of how well they performed in this very challenging tournament."

The third place finish came down to a tie-breaker with Wichita East that the Demons came up short on.

The team of  Alex Rangel and Guadalupe Hipolito led the way winning four of their five matches placing fourth in the Open Division.

Despite being first-time partners, this helped Rangel and Hipolito for the 6A State Tournament next month.

Taking fifth in the Open Division was Oyuki Camacho and Rileigh Heeke who also were paired together at the last minute.

Camacho and Heeke finished the day with a 3-2 mark which was also enough to qualify them for the state tournament.

"Heeke was also honored as the meet's second ranked speaker, a lofty accomplishment for a sophomore," Ray said. "I think Rileigh’s achievement speaks volumes, not just about her talents but also about her potential."

Caleb Boys and Mariela Lopez went 3-2 on the day finishing seventh in the lower division.

The finish also qualified Boys for the state tournament while Lopez medaling as a novice, moved her out of her class for the first time

The Demon Debaters will focus on preparations for three postseason tournaments now that the regular season has come to an end.

The Novice State Debate and the Traditional Debate State Tournament will be held in Blue Valley Jan. 5-6, 2018.

The 6A State Tournament will be held a week later in Emporia.

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